Captive Labor: Exploitation of Incarcerated Workers

Jun 15, 2022
  • Description

Drawing on responses to open records requests, analysis of state and federal laws and regulations, interviews, and written questionnaires completed by incarcerated workers, this report discusses at length the features of state and federal prison labor systems that result in systemic exploitation and abuse. This report also recommends concrete steps to make prison systems treat incarcerated workers with dignity and respect for their human rights. Though this report centers on the gratuitously harsh conditions of contemporary prison labor, it is embedded in larger conversations about racism, sexism, the U.S. criminal legal system, the 13th Amendment, and the ultimate morality of this country's vast network of prisons, jails, and detention facilities.